Cigarette Butt Bin Pilot Initiative

Council directed staff to implement this pilot initiative as part of the District’s ongoing initiatives to reduce cigarette litter. 

Council Report | October 4, 2021

Council Presentation | October 4, 2021

Cigarette butt disposal bins are being installed in West Vancouver—three locations in Ambleside and three locations in Horseshoe Bay—as a pilot program starting in April 2022. 

The bins will be attached to existing streetside recycling bins and will be installed in locations that are in compliance with the District’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw that have been observed by staff to be high-smoking areas.

Bin location map

Next Steps 

Once the new pilot bins have been installed, they will be regularly serviced and maintained by the District’s collection contractor. The District will work closely with the contractor to monitor the initiative and ensure it is working effectively.

Ready to quit smoking? Get help now by visiting quitnow.ca. When smoking decreases, cigarette butt litter decreases too! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why this project?

Cigarette butt litter is prevalent and harmful. Over 5,000 cigarette butts were picked up during shoreline cleanup events in West Vancouver 2019 and 2020. When littered, cigarette butts enter waterways and leach toxic chemicals and microplastics. Additionally, carelessly discarded butts can cause fires.

The intent of this initiative is to provide West Vancouver residents and visitors with another option to dispose of cigarette butt litter responsibly. The bins will be installed in 2022. 

Where are the bins located?

Staff have identified six cigarette butt bins locations (link to map of bin locations) that are in compliance with the District’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw and that have been observed to be high-smoking areas by staff. Bins will be mounted on existing streetside recycling bins to facilitate service and maintenance by the District’s collection contractor.

Why only six bins?

The District’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw prohibits smoking in most places in West Vancouver, including within six metres of building openings, public transit, and parks. It’s difficult to find locations to install cigarette butt bins where smoking is permitted, or close enough to a location where smoking is permitted that people will walk to the bins to dispose of cigarette butts. 

How can I request an additional location for a cigarette butt disposal bin?

The District will not consider additional bin location until after the one-year pilot period has been completed. Staff will monitor the pilot program closely and report back to Council with recommendations, including installing additional bins if necessary in 2023.

Why not install cigarette butt bins in parks too?

The District’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw prohibits smoking in all West Vancouver parks.

Are District staff servicing these new bins?

No. The District’s streetside recycling bin collection contractor, Growing City, will service the bins. Bins have been mounted on existing streetside recycling bins to facilitate service and maintenance by the District’s collection contractor.

Where should I put my butt if I’m not close to a bin?

Cigarette butts are garbage—extinguish your cigarette first and then dispose of the butt in a garbage can. 

Why not recycle butts with TerraCycle’s UNSMOKE Cigarette Recycling Program?

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has cautioned the District from partnering with TerraCycle’s UNSMOKE Cigarette Recycling Program. According to VCH, while seeming well intentioned, this program is an attempt for Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (financial sponsor to UNSMOKE) to improve its public image in British Columbia, while shifting its responsibility of tobacco litter onto its customers. The UNSMOKE Cigarette Recycling Program gives the false impression to environmentally conscious consumers and members of the public that the solution to cigarette litter is TerraCycle’s UNSMOKE Cigarette Recycling Program rather than a decrease in consumption of tobacco.

What else is the District doing to reduce cigarette butt litter?

The District currently addresses cigarette butt litter through the Parks and Engineering departments’ regularly scheduled and on-going street maintenance programs, which include dedicated staff and street cleaning equipment. Additionally, the District has been a Clean Shoreline Community with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup since 2018. Through this partnership, the District supports multiple litter cleanup events throughout the year.

What if I have a complaint about an overflowing cigarette butt bin? 

Please contact the District to report any issues with the new cigarette butt bins. Report a problem online or call 604-925-7176. 

How much does this pilot cost? 

The costs of implementing this pilot program include the provision of new cigarette butt bins, program coordination, maintenance, and servicing. Overall costs for the pilot program are estimated to be approximately $7,000 for the first year. Funding was approved in the annual solid waste utility rate setting proposal for 2022.

I am a resident. How can I help reduce cigarette butt litter? 

Your waste is your responsibility. You can help protect our parks, beaches, waterways, and wildlife, and prevent fires by properly disposing of your cigarette butts in a garbage can or cigarette butt bin and by encouraging others to do the same. 

Cigarette butts are the leading littered item found during shoreline cleanups. Consider hosting your own shoreline cleanup. More information, including registration and safety checklists, can be found on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup website.

I am a business. How can I help reduce cigarette butt litter in front of my business?

As a requirement of the District’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw, all businesses are required to display “no smoking” signs wherever smoking is prohibited. 

Additionally, as a requirement of the District's Traffic and Parking Bylaw, all property owners must keep the sidewalk bordering their property clear of debris.

Where can I find resources to quit smoking?

If you’re looking for resources to help you quit smoking, visit quitnow.ca. You may also want to check out Vancouver Coastal Health Smoking Cessation resources.

When cigarette consumption decreases, cigarette butt waste decreases.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about this pilot project?

Trevor Doré
Policy & Programs Planner (Acting)  
Email
604-921-3498

Resources

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable mortality worldwide. Cigarette butts are the leading littered item in cities and on our shorelines. Here are some additional resources related to the cigarette butt bin pilot: 

Quit Now

Vancouver Coastal Health Smoking Cessation

Council Report

Council Presentation

Map of Bin Locations

District’s Smoking Regulation Bylaw No. 4607, 2009

Love West Van
 

Contact

Trevor Doré
Policy & Programs Planner (Acting)  

Email

604-921-3498

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